Avery Dennison Corporate / How our purpose is built into our DNA

How our purpose is built into our DNA

"While our purpose is aspirational, it is also in line with our DNA and the spirit of our founder Stan Avery."

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Our core business purpose is relatively simple, it is to provide industry-leading service and quality for our customers every day. However, employees and other stakeholders expect a company like Avery Dennison to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, not only when facing challenging times, like COVID-19, sustainability, social justice and equality, but every day. Therefore, we regard it as our purpose to be a leading force in our industry in driving innovation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion. Our corporate innovation goals are directly related to our purpose and hold us accountable to high standards in three key areas that I’ve outlined below. 

Develop innovations that advance the circular economy. Develop and scale sustainable solutions as standard offerings in our product portfolio with a focus on a reduction of materials and waste, the development of a circular economy for consumer packaging, and the adoption and growth of intelligent labels. We have an opportunity to provide a meaningful contribution by expanding the role of the label (as I mentioned in the last article) by developing circular solutions for consumer packaging, but also by helping to reduce food spoilage, provide information about the authenticity of products, offering transparency and tracking opportunities in the supply chain and assuring consumers about the health and safety of products.

Reduce our environmental impact in the supply chain & operations (in areas such as waste and greenhouse gases). I mentioned CELAB and RoadRunner in my last article as examples of how we are collaborating with industry partners to tackle problems like matrix and liner waste. In the past five years, we have made significant progress on our Sustainability 2025 objectives. 

Enhance the livelihood of our people and the communities where we live and operate. As a fundamental part of our purpose, we also aim to further develop the culture in our organization, guided by the values of Avery Dennison. We aim to have an engaged team, be more entrepreneurial, with courage, risk-taking, external focus, and diversity and inclusion and provide equal opportunities for people with various backgrounds (in terms of race, gender and other aspects). Diversity of perspectives and an inclusive environment in which everyone feels free to contribute are essential to drive innovation. 

While our purpose is aspirational, it is also in line with our DNA and the spirit of our founder Stan Avery. I never had the opportunity to meet him in person, but he realized early on that by developing his business he would be able to help more people. He had said, “There was a time when all I wanted was to help people with charitable work … But as time went on, I decided that a business could do even more. It could help more people than I could ever help on my own”. He was not only a great innovator but also saw it as his purpose to support others which led to his nickname, the “Gentle Giant”. It is with this same spirit that the Avery Dennison Foundation supports the organization and our employees to be a force for good in the communities in which we live and operate. Charitable donations are made to support employee-driven initiatives to support education, sustainability, diversity and inclusion and disaster recovery. 

I am therefore confident that following our purpose will drive great business performance and create shareholder value while having a positive impact on our employees and a meaningful contribution to the industries we serve and the communities in which we operate.

2020 was an unusual year that helped demonstrate the value of the pressure-sensitive label industry through many value chains and verticals. To those of us in the industry, we saw events and trends that help to provide insight as to where the industry may go beyond 2021. I hope you’ve been able to see that the themes of my past three articles are all very connected. In order to drive future growth for the PSL, we have to consider our purpose and expand the value and role of the label and the impact that we can have in the society. Innovation and collaboration across the value chain will be critical to be successful at that. Diversity and inclusion not only with respect to our people but also diversity of thought and ensuring that we create a space where ideas are welcome, will ensure that we cultivate an environment that encourages this disruptive and innovative thinking that will help push us all forward.

Learn more about our Diversity and Inclusion efforts here.
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